Have You Met Dexter?

A free and fair media is critical in a healthy democracy, though while the data age has dramatically enhanced our ability to generate and share news, it has similarly enabled the rise of fake news, programmatic agendas, and media echo-chambers. The Dexter project seeks to leverage modern computational paradigms to monitor and analyze Southern Africa's digital media.

Ask how you can partner with Future Cities Africa

Listen or watch to understand:

This episode is presented in partnership with the Open Cities Lab

  • Background on guests William Bird, Director at Media Monitoring Africa and Matthew Adendorff, Data Lead at Open Cities Lab.
  • What exactly is Dexter and what does it do?
  • How Open Cities Lab and Media Monitoring Africa got involved in the project.
  • How Dexter can be used for a focussed subject: To track elections or COVID reporting in Africa.
  • The elections work that the Dexter project is currently underway with.
  • The biggest challenges they have overcome to date and how they did it.
  • Application of Dexter beyond news media.
  • The key steps to a more free and fair media.

About William Bird

William is the Director of Media Monitoring Africa. (MMA) At MMA. William has overseen or been directly involved in over 200 media monitoring projects on subjects ranging from gender based violence, HIV, and racism to children and the media. William was appointed an Ashoka fellow in 2009 and also a Linc Fellow in 2010 for his work focused on children’s participation in the media. He is regularly accessed in the media on a range of media focused issues. William's love of media Monitoring and data saw him developing a host of databases but it wasn’t until 2014 that working with William’s dream for a central database to store all the Data MMA monitored was realised. Working with Open Up Dexter was born. With over 2 million stories it is not only an important record, but offers immense potential for our future. William’s knowledge of media monitoring and commitment to deepening democracy in South Africa and the continent has ensured his expertise is internationally recognised. In his spare time William likes to monitor the media when not otherwise distracted by his young sons.

About Dr Matthew Adendorff

Matthew is the Data Lead at the Open Cities Lab (OCL), a civic technology not-for-profit start-up in Durban, South Africa, that works to realise people-centric participatory democracy through the application of cutting edge data-science, machine-learning, and focused user-engagement. He is also the co-founder of Tenji, a high-performance data-science lab that leverages technology to power compound, evidence-based insights. He oversees the design and implementation of computational infrastructure, web app deployment, data analysis pipeline construction, and the application of algorithms for insightful processing of information. Matthew was introduced to data-science and machine learning during his studies in computational nanotechnology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, obtaining his PhD in 2016. Since then, he has worked to apply these methodologies to challenges in media analytics, city-centric data-science, bias detection, and socio-economic topology modelling. In his spare time he is an appreciator and brewer of beer.

Join our digital discussions

We'll send you the lastest podcasts to your inbox.

Share this discussion

Share William Bird and Matthew Adendorff  - Have You Met Dexter? on Linkedin Share William Bird and Matthew Adendorff  - Have You Met Dexter? on Facebook Compose a Tweet about William Bird and Matthew Adendorff  - Have You Met Dexter? on Twitter Share William Bird and Matthew Adendorff  - Have You Met Dexter? via Whatsapp

You might also be interested in some of our other discussions

Podcast By Nabil El Kadhi about Smart Citizens Need Smart Education
Smart Citizens Need Smart Education

Prof. Nabil El Kadhi is Vice President of Academic Affairs at Khawarizmi International College and Vice President of the Future Cities Council. We explore the schema for future education, UAE education system and what Africa can learn from it, challenges that must be overcome, the difference between smart education and digital education, homeschool vs school/ university, readiness of the classic university for the future, definition of a smart city and a smart citizen, cities in 2040 and advice for students stuck in the old education system.

Play Now
Podcast By Tony Lee Luen Len about Impacts of Covid-19 in Mauritius and the important role of technology
Impacts of Covid-19 in Mauritius and the important role of technology

Tony Lee is a partner at Ecosis Ltd in Mauritius. He is an expert for the advocacy platform, United for Smart and Sustainable Cities (U4SSC) and for the "digital transformation of cities" working group of UN Habitat. We chat about challenges and opportunities in Mauritius, how technologies will play a critical role in the future, impacts of Covid-19, confirmed beliefs and moving in to the future.

Play Now
Podcast By Justin Coetzee about Redefining Urban Mobility in Africa
Redefining Urban Mobility in Africa

Justin Coetzee is Founder and CEO of GoMetro. He is a civil engineer by training, with a Masters Degree in Transportation Engineering. We chat about GoMetro’s approach, their projects in Kigali and many other African countries, how Africa can succeed, stakeholder collaboration, legislation he would change and his outlook on key technologies and the future.

Play Now
Podcast By Liteboho Makhele about Climate Change (Lessons from the Pandemic Series)
Climate Change (Lessons from the Pandemic Series)

Liteboho Makhele is Programme Manager for Sustainable Cities at South African Cities Network. We explore the current state of climate change interventions, key sustainability projects, the biggest challenge to climate change adaptation, the circular economy, and the main lessons taken from 2020.

Play Now
Podcast By Warren Hewitt
 about Bellville: A Great Showcase and Template for African Cities
Bellville: A Great Showcase and Template for African Cities

Warren Hewitt is Chief Executive Officer at The Greater Tygerberg Partnership (GTP). We discuss the role of the GTP in unlocking Bellville’s potential as a sustainable and prosperous leading African city, Bellville’s culture and combined intellectual capital, attracting investment, working closely with the public sector, and many facts about Bellville.

Play Now

Get the latest podcast delivered to your inbox

Don’t miss a discussion, sign up and be the first to know.